Sheringham Shoal: Action stations

by agwelch

Cover feature from Offshore Wind Autumn 2012

Alistair Welch tests out his sea legs as he goes offshore to take a closer look at the Sheringham Shoal offshore wind farm on the eve of the project entering full operation

Sitting in what was once the science laboratory of the Old School House in Wells, Norfolk, a building that now serves as the temporary operational headquarters of Scira, it is all too easy to be blasé about the engineering achievement of the Sheringham Shoal offshore wind farm. The diagrams up on the whiteboards that show the diamond layout of the 88 turbines and two substations along with cable connections and operational information give an impression of serene order.

20km offshore in The Wash and it is a different picture; even on a relatively calm day the boat that has brought a group of journalists out to the site bobs queasily, bringing home the extraordinary challenge of working in the offshore environment. Furthermore, it is only when you get within touching distance of a turbine that you get a true idea of the scale of these machines and that of the project as a whole.

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